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Door Gunners' wing badge.

Started by Sabrejet , Sep 25 2010 10:07 AM

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#1 Sabrejet

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:07 AM

Can someone please tell me something about the so-called Door Gunners' badge...the winged "G"? It's my understanding that it was an "unofficial" badge used briefly within some units during the VN War period. It doesn't feature in any of my reference books...and yet, they keep cropping up on eBay! Would I be correct in assuming that these so-called "originals" are made-for-collector items. In other words, the numbers in circulation far exceed those which were actually worn by those who were entitled to do so. Thanks.

Sabrejet

#2 hawk3370

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:41 AM

Can someone please tell me something about the so-called Door Gunners' badge...the winged "G"? It's my understanding that it was an "unofficial" badge used briefly within some units during the VN War period. It doesn't feature in any of my reference books...and yet, they keep cropping up on eBay! Would I be correct in assuming that these so-called "originals" are made-for-collector items. In other words, the numbers in circulation far exceed those which were actually worn by those who were entitled to do so. Thanks.

Sabrejet


Ian,

My opinion totally a fabrication of someones imagination. I saw these start showing up in the mid 1980's at the gun shows. Initailly they were being sold as wings worn by the Vietnamese Air Force Gunners. That may be but I never saw any such wing being sold or worn by US military in vietnam.

Terry

#3 Lee Ragan

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 10:50 AM

Ian,

My opinion totally a fabrication of someones imagination. I saw these start showing up in the mid 1980's at the gun shows. Initailly they were being sold as wings worn by the Vietnamese Air Force Gunners. That may be but I never saw any such wing being sold or worn by US military in vietnam.

Terry


Those "Door Gunner", wings have been around forever. I have a pair that date from the mid 1970's (that's when I got them), and was told then that those were all unauthorized and made overseas. There is also a crew chiefs wing with a small C inside a larger C used as the center device between the wings. None of these were ever authorized and all are novelty pieces... even the old ones. They still make a nice addition to a modern US Army wing badge collection.

#4 Sabrejet

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 02:34 PM

Ian,

My opinion totally a fabrication of someones imagination. I saw these start showing up in the mid 1980's at the gun shows. Initailly they were being sold as wings worn by the Vietnamese Air Force Gunners. That may be but I never saw any such wing being sold or worn by US military in vietnam.

Terry



Thanks Terry...you've confirmed my suspicions!

Ian :thumbsup:

#5 Sabrejet

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 02:35 PM

Those "Door Gunner", wings have been around forever. I have a pair that date from the mid 1970's (that's when I got them), and was told then that those were all unauthorized and made overseas. There is also a crew chiefs wing with a small C inside a larger C used as the center device between the wings. None of these were ever authorized and all are novelty pieces... even the old ones. They still make a nice addition to a modern US Army wing badge collection.



Thanks for your input Lee.

Ian

#6 J_Andrews

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:09 PM

There was also such a wing for medevac medics -- aircrew wings with a round center with a red (painted) cross.

I never saw anyone wearing any of the series, but they were available in the shops. All were cast and polished.

#7 Bookie

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 09:57 PM

Crew chiefs on helicopters had wings. Often, the gunners were usually volunteers whohad never been to aircraft maintance school or had worked long enough in the crewchief MOS to be awarded a set of wings. The G came out and was used by many door gunners so they would feel more like one of the guys. They were unofficial, but most companies tolerated them. Most companies let the non-rated volunteers wear regular enlisted wings. Cheers, Bookie

#8 armillary_journey

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 02:42 PM

Can someone please tell me something about the so-called Door Gunners' badge...the winged "G"? It's my understanding that it was an "unofficial" badge used briefly within some units during the VN War period. It doesn't feature in any of my reference books...and yet, they keep cropping up on eBay! Would I be correct in assuming that these so-called "originals" are made-for-collector items. In other words, the numbers in circulation far exceed those which were actually worn by those who were entitled to do so. Thanks.

Sabrejet



Sabre- You don't find it in your reference books, and they keep cropping up on eBay. There's your answer.
I crewed the UH-1H immediately after Viet Nam, just old enough to join then. I was at Ft. Campbell, 101st Abn. There were either troops just back from Nam, or us "new army" troops as they called us back then in 75-78.
The Huey crew chiefs were the door gunners in the Nam. Being in 101st Aviation Battalion I never saw an item like those ones on ebay these days, and I was immersed in helicopters and Nam veterans. I was in several parades and saw hundreds of Nam vets in Class A's, and was on the flight line 6 days a week and sometimes 7. Heard their stories, saw their pictures, awards and uniforms first hand. 2 Nam crew chiefs/door gunners were my first roomates in my barracks. Never saw one.

#9 skypilot1

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:13 PM

To answer your question the “Door Gunner Wings” are for real. I was AF Security Police in the late 60's and was part of a Unit called "Safe Side". We were a combat security force, and were trained in different specialties as a combat defense force in case a base was in danger of being overrun. We did parachute training, combat arms, tactics, self-defense, and survival training. Part of our training included Aerial gunnery school, mostly UH1H’s and aircrew training at Ft. Bennings, and Ft. Campbell, and Nellis, AFB. We were cut short a few days from training when we were packed up and sent to Vietnam for a deployment. I did not receive my gunner wings until after my fifth mission in Vietnam. So to answer your question the wings are real and are authorized worn over their nametag.

#10 skypilot1

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:30 PM

Ian,

My opinion totally a fabrication of someones imagination. I saw these start showing up in the mid 1980's at the gun shows. Initailly they were being sold as wings worn by the Vietnamese Air Force Gunners. That may be but I never saw any such wing being sold or worn by US military in vietnam.

Terry


Terry I hate to inform you but the Army Door Gunner Wings are for real. I was issued mine in 1969 and have the documentation showing they are authorized. I don't know about where you were in country, but their were pelenty of us who never did a lot of things with uniforms that we should have. Name tags was aboout it. I never put them on my camo's, flight suits, or Class A's until I went home. In fact quite a few of us were not to keen on uniforms period, and when I came home from Vietnam they made us change into civies as not to piss off the protestors at the airport. Being AF and wearing Army wings was not something you did. Not unless you wanted to piss off some desk jockey who's only action they saw was falling off a bar stool when you reported in to your new duty assignment. So maybe you did not see anyone wearing them but there is quite a few of us that do have them.

#11 Old Marine

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:21 PM

Interesting topic, does anyone have a picture of these wings?

#12 Austin R

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:46 PM

Interesting topic, does anyone have a picture of these wings?

From the book "Vietnam Order of Battle"
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r577/aafcollector/6335FD25-C8A7-4095-84A3-1BD45AB3C308-5720-000006E9A2450863_zps8a2b5579.jpg

#13 Sabrejet

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:27 AM

What a pleasant surprise to see this old thread revived with the addition of some new info. Thanks! The wing illustrated below is currently on ebay but is described as a "collector's piece".

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#14 skypilot1

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:07 AM

What a pleasant surprise to see this old thread revived with the addition of some new info. Thanks! The wing illustrated below is currently on ebay but is described as a "collector's piece".


I know the gentleman that has it listed on EBay and over the years I became a collector of mostly WWII items. He has helped me a number of times and is a Vet. Yes the wings are a collectors item, and in most all cases you will not find them listed in any new Army manual. The Army stopped issuing them shortly after the end of Vietnam in 75. From my earlier post you will see I was awarded my wings while in Vietnam in 69. I also have AF crew wings from my time as a triple 1,(gunner 52's) and crew on Spooky C-47 gunships. Having those wings did pose a problem for me, but they are noted on my DD 214 as an award. If you noted from my post, I was actually AF assigned to the Army's 1st Air Cal 223rd Helicopter Assault Sq. on a Marine Fire Base. Uniforms or what you had on them was not something we were concerned with much. The only time it became an issue was returning to the world and meeting some yahoo with a stick up the rump about uniforms. My whole experience when I came home left me with some bitter feelings, and I ended it. It was not until my recent health issues that I started getting a uniform together again. My last wish was to be buried in it, so I wanted to make sure my uniform was all together. Saber there are some of the newer guys that might say the wings are myth, and that may be so now but at one time they were a earned award. Later

Edited by skypilot1, 01 December 2012 - 11:09 AM.


#15 vintageproductions

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:11 AM

The one on Ebay is a new made copy.
The photo below are all vintage, in-country sandcast made wings. You will see the Gunner, crew chief, flight medic, etc......

wings.jpg

#16 atb

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

From post by skypilot1- "issued mine in 1969 and have the documentation showing they are authorized."

Then I am curious as to why they do not show up in any Army uniform or insignia regulations of the Vietnam Era on up to the present?

Edited by atb, 01 December 2012 - 01:12 PM.


#17 skypilot1

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

From post by skypilot1- "issued mine in 1969 and have the documentation showing they are authorized."

Then I am curious as to why they do not show up in any Army uniform or insignia regulations of the Vietnam Era on up to the present?


I could not say why exactly. I do know they are pictured in many of the old Army Regs and decoration books dated prior to 1975, and someone earlier posted a picture of all the wings and it appears on that photo from the reg book. All I know for sure is they are annotated on my DD214 and as such the Department of the Air Force reconized them as being authorized or it would not be on my records as such.

#18 atb

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:44 PM

I have never seen US Army gunner wings in Army regulations from the Vietnam Era either descibed or pictured. Gunners and Crew Chiefs qualified for Aircrew wings as far as I know. I have the pertinent regulations to check at work. If you have seen them please let me know the AR number. Are you remembering the old pre-USAF US Army Air Force aerial gunner wings?

#19 vintageproductions

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:44 PM

I have always been under the impression they were un-official wings. That they were made sold in various inisgnia shops in Vietnam. Just like tour jackets, peace patches, etc.
The book that is shown above is not a Army regulations it is the Vietnam Order Of Battle by Shelby Stanton.

#20 skypilot1

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:07 PM

I have never seen US Army gunner wings in Army regulations from the Vietnam Era either descibed or pictured. Gunners and Crew Chiefs qualified for Aircrew wings as far as I know. I have the pertinent regulations to check at work. If you have seen them please let me know the AR number. Are you remembering the old pre-USAF US Army Air Force aerial gunner wings?


I am not remembering anything from the old pre USAF or Army. I am old but not that old. If you look at this link I found you will see that they are still being issued today. The exception is they now consider the gunners the same a crew chief's. I do know they did do away with the wings with the G. They now issue the wings as crew chief or aircrew wings. The is also on the Smithsonian web site pictures of the wings uhttp://www.blackanthem.com/News/U_S_Military_19/CAB_awards_aviation_wings_to_new_door_gunners_12811281.shtmlsed by the Army up to 1980 which in that display you will see the wings with the G on them. I have also tried to attach a photo on it also.

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